Dane Gagai left the Newcastle Knights at the end of 2017 for a big pay cheque at South Sydney. But it was never just about the money.
It was also about winning. He wanted to experience the feeling.
While plenty of Knights fans at the time felt let down and accused him of walking out on the club during tough times, could anyone really blame him?
In 128 NRL games for Newcastle after Wayne Bennett brought him to town in 2012, Gagai walked off the field a winner just 41 times. In his final three seasons, he played 69 games for a paltry 14 wins and three wooden spoons.
So when an NRL heavyweight and regular premiership challenger like Souths came knocking on his door, they didn't need a hard sell.
They may have come armed with plenty of cash but they also offered something the Knights at the time couldn't - hope. Hope that he would, for the first time, get the chance to experience some genuine success if he came on board.
Few could argue Souths have delivered.
On Friday night, the veteran of 19 Origin games for Queensland and four series wins, will play in his fourth consecutive preliminary final for the Bunnies. A win over Manly at Suncorp Stadium would see him play in his first NRL grand final and challenge for the title.
The irony in all of this of course is Gagai had to leave the Knights to become a winner. But now that he is one is precisely why the club wanted him back and signed him.
"We need more winners at our club and Dane's a winner," Knights head of recruitment Clint Zammit said.
"He's very experienced, he's respected, he's playing consistently good footy and he knows what success is and how to achieve it. We need more of those types of players.
"Players who know what that feels like and what it takes. Dane's had plenty of success at Souths and with Queensland and we think he will not only added plenty to us with his ability but he'll also be a real good influence on all our younger blokes coming through. They will see what it takes to become successful."
Zammit confirmed the Knights had two cracks at snaring Gagai's signature before finally reaching an agreement.
"We weren't in the picture financially the first time so the negotiations stalled there for a bit but he came back to us in the end and we managed to get a deal done,"Zammit said.
"Adam [coach Adam O'Brien] spoke to him and was really impressed, he's still got family here and he fitted the bill of the experienced outside back we were looking for. He'll be really good for us on and off the field."
And who knows, he may well come back to Newcastle a premiership winner as well.
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